The $21 billion Maryland State Retirement Systems, Baltimore, sold all of its tobacco holdings because of concerns over the long-term outlook for the industry, State Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein announced after today's board meeting. The system made a profit of about $35.6 million on its $75.5 million sale of tobacco stocks and bonds last month, Mr. Goldstein said.
The system sold $69 million worth of stock in American Brands, Loews, Philip Morris and UST, as well as about $6.5 million worth of bonds in RJR Nabisco Holdings.
Meanwhile, investor Bennett S. LeBow, chairman and chief executive of Brooke Group, today conceded defeat in his attempts to force RJR Nabisco Holdings to split its tobacco business from its food operations.
``We continue to believe strongly in the Nabisco spinoff - we are absolutely convinced it can and should be done now'' Mr. LeBow said at a press conference today, acknowledging his slate of nominees for RJR's board did not seem to have enough votes to oust the company's director nominees at tomorrow's annual meeting.